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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Tribute to my Smokin' Hot Trophy Wife--Mrs. Militaris

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 9:01 PM. |

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Collier County Commission Votes In Favor Of Jackson Labs

From the Naples News:
Jackson Laboratory's plans to come to Collier County remain on track with county leaders deciding to make a short-term loan to the project while they wait for the fate of state funding.

The Collier County Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday, with Commissioner Tom Henning casting the dissenting vote, to have staff draw up a first-year loan of $28 million to Jackson so lab officials can continue working to bring more business partners to a future biomedical park near Ave Maria.
Voting in favor of JAX was Commissioner Jim Coletta, who represents the district containing Ave Maria. I don't know whether Mr. Coletta is Catholic, but his bio says that he went to Notre Dame High School in Elmira, N.Y., and he did make some noise about JAX's connection to embryonic stem cell research. From an earlier Naples News article:
At a recent commission meeting, Coletta expressed concern about Jackson potentially doing research some day using embryonic stem cells. He asked [Commission Chairman Fred] Coyle if the lab would commit to not using embryonic stem cells; Coyle responded that would be a deal-breaker.

In Maine, Coletta said Jackson officials explained they can't commit to what lab leaders in the future may want to do or not do.

"They do have an ethics council in place and are willing to put one in Naples with members of the community to weigh in," he said.

From another standpoint, Coletta said, if Jackson doesn't go to the Ave Maria location, it could go "in a secular community that may not have the same standards."
Based on that last argument, I guess that means Ave Maria should invite abortion mills and strip clubs, because if not, they might go to other "secular" communities with lower standards.

When it comes to asking JAX to commit to not using embryonic stem cells, isn't it heart-breaking to see Coletta's principles fall so quickly by the wayside upon meeting opposition? Show some backbone, man! The Diocese of Venice was counting on you!

Fumed by Thales at 11:36 AM. |

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yes, Monaghan's Entities Also Support The Jackson Labs Plan

I'm having a simply bizarre debate in the comment thread in this post, about whether Monaghan supports the proposed Ave Maria Town Jackson Labs facility. In the thread, commenter "also anonymous" alerts me to this fascinating site entitled "Supporters of JAX-Florida." It is Jackson Labs's own list of all those entities who are giving "enthusiastic support" for the proposed Ave Maria facility.

Who's on the Jackson Labs supporter list?

1. Shamrock Bank of Florida. Tom Monaghan is a Shamrock bank founder and, of course, he is one of the bank's directors. (The Chairman of the Board is Paul Roney, who is the CFO of Ave Maria University. Great! Let's add Roney to the list of highly-placed Ave Maria officials who support the Jackson Labs plan, like Healy, Orsi, and Milhizer.)

2. Ave Maria Utility Company. Yes, they're connected to Monaghan too!

This is fun! Is there any other organization or individual on the Jackson Labs list who is connected with Monaghan and/or any other Ave Maria entity?

UPDATE: Commenter "also anonymous" notes that the Economic Development Council of Collier County has a list of people supporting the Jackson Labs project. On this list are Jason D. Vogel, Project Manager for the Ave Maria Utility Company and Donald J. York, President/Chief Executive Officer of Shamrock Bank of Florida.

Commenter "an observer" notes that the law firm Garlick, Hilfiker & Swift, LLP is on the Jackson Labs list. Thomas B. Garlick, Managing Partner of the firm, is one of the members of Ave Maria School of Law's Board of Governors, and he has signed his name to the Collier County list.

I was looking through the Board of Regents of AMU and discovered that Regent Don J. Gunther serves as an advisor to Northern Trust Bank, which is also on the Jackson Labs list. (Admittedly, an advisor is a lesser position in the organization, and it is Northern Trust's President, John D. Fumagalli, not Gunther, who signed his name to the Collier County list.)

Another AMU Regent, Alan D. Reynolds, is the Chairman and CEO of Wilson Miller. Wilson Miller is on the Jackson Labs list, and Reynolds is personally on the Collier County list of supporters.

The Eastern Collier Chamber of Commerce is a supporter of Jackson Labs in Ave Maria. Guess who is on their Board of Directors? Our old pal, Nicholas Healy, President of Ave Maria University.

Ave Maria Town has an "alliance" with Pulte Homes to build all the houses in Ave Maria Town. Sure enough, Pulte Homes is a Jackson Labs supporter.

Fumed by Thales at 9:19 PM. |

Monday, July 26, 2010

Remember, Monaghan Is Not Just Selling Land, He Is Actively Supporting the JAX Plan

In the Jackson Labs controversy, those defending Monaghan's sale of the land are standing by the NCBC's explanation that the land sale was morally permissible. I think that the NCBC's explanation is flawed, but set that aside for now. In fact, let's even assume that Monaghan's land sale is morally permissible.

It's important to remember that Monaghan is not merely selling land, while disapproving of JAX's morally-skewed ethics (or even while remaining entirely neutral on the JAX plan). Monaghan and his agents are explicitly encouraging and supporting the JAX plan, a plan that the diocese now says has ethical and moral concerns. Think of President Healy welcoming the JAX plan because of the job and real estate benefits, or Dean Milhizer saying that JAX's practices are consistent with Catholic teaching, or Fr. Orsi being excited about the coming of JAX and the benefits to AMU. The Vatican instruction on research and material derived from human embryonic stem cell research requires people to make known their disagreement with such involvement.

Monaghan has made no public statement of disapproval of JAX's unethical involvement with human embryonic stem cell research. On the contrary, Monaghan and his associates are actively supporting all facets of the JAX plan without reservation. That is problematic.

(In other news, AveWatch has an similarly-themed editorial noting that "Tom Monaghan and his Ave Maria employees did nothing prior to the County Commissioners' vote to ensure that work repugnant to Catholic teaching will not be done at the Ave Maria Jackson Laboratory complex." Obviously, Monaghan has a huge financial interest in the success of the JAX plan. It's sad to see money trumping principle here.)

Fumed by Thales at 8:33 PM. |

Go Gyrenes!

The AMU Gyrenes start out on their long journey to the Sugar Bowl.

Fumed by Thales at 1:52 PM. |

Another Embarrassing Tom Golisano and Charlie Crist Story

Here's another embarrassing news story about pro-abortion politician Charlie Crist "cozying up" to Ave Maria honoree Tom Golisano:
As part of his outreach for contributions and counsel as an independent U.S. Senate candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist recently had a tete-a-tete with New York billionaire Tom Golisano....
Reached by phone in New York, Golisano confirmed to Sunshine State News that he and Crist met in Southwest Florida.
What's especially embarrassing is this passage from the article, which pretty well sums up why AMU's honoring of Golisano is scandalous:
The Naples-based Ave Maria University, founded by Dominos owner and Catholic conservative Tom Monaghan, has honored Golisano and named a campus building after him.

But Golisano has also taken non-Catholic positions in the political arena. Over the past two years, the billionaire has endorsed and donated to NARAL-supported pro-choice candidates in state and federal elections.
HT: AveWatch

Fumed by Thales at 8:29 AM. |

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is the Venice Diocese Spokesman Trying To Hold Contradictory Positions At The Same Time?

The Ave Herald has a post about the Venice Diocese expressing concern about the proposed Jackson Labs facility at Ave Maria Town. The statement, put out by diocesan spokesman Bob Reddy, was published as a Naples News editorial (and apparently not published in the diocesan newspaper or handed out after Mass as originally reported, but soon retracted, by AveWatch).

The Ave Herald article has an interesting passage:
The diocese is commenting solely on the research plans for the laboratory, Mr. Reddy said, and not the decision by Tom Monaghan to sell his half-interest in 50 acres of land to his partner, the Barron Collier Cos., so that the developer could donate the land for use by the Jackson Lab. On that matter, Mr. Reddy said, "the diocese defers" to the National Catholic Bioethics Center, which reviewed the transaction and determined that there was "no moral obstacle" to Mr. Monaghan selling his interest in the land.
My logical fallacy warning system just went off. It seems to me that Mr. Reddy trying to hold contradictory positions at the same time. Remember, the NCBC's position rests on the premise that JAX is not involved in any evil, and therefore, a person can morally cooperate with JAX including selling them land for a new facility. But the diocesan statement says that it has concerns with JAX's "purported association with" human embryo stem cell research. How can the diocese have concerns about JAX's activities when the NCBC's implicit position is that there is no reason to have concerns about JAX's activities?

UPDATE: Let me restate my point more simply: The NCBC says that cooperation with JAX is morally permissible because there are no concerns with JAX's association with human embryo stem cell research. The diocese says there are concerns with JAX's association with human embryo stem cell research. I think it's incoherent to hold both positions at the same time.

Fumed by Thales at 9:22 PM. |

Bombing Iran is the Latest

With the failure of the green color revolution there last year, and with the failure of the architecture to plummet the euro earlier this year, thanks in most part to an executive order by Merkel banning naked shorting (i.e. banning CDS and CDO positions on bonds -- derivatives) with no time for the investment and hedge funds to unwind (unlike the 12 years our congress just gave to unwind), this is a difficult time for Wall Street to effect a beggar thy neighbor shift of toxic derivative soup.

Time for the old dollar overhang on oil  Worked in the 70s.  The NIE of 2007 is being reviewed and there's good reports that while Medvedev was visiting the U.S., Obama presented evidence by way of intelligence reports that Iran has enough yellow cake for two bombs.  Hence, we've returned to the Brzezinski plan to work over Russia.  We've also admitted some defeat in the currency battles of 2008.  Some interpret Russia's continuance to allow energy projects in Iran to be at odds with the projected statements of disappointment that it has yellow cake.  But alas, Russia has withheld the shipment of some SA300 supersonic surface to air missiles thus showing a reasonable and consistent front.

Meanwhile, other preparations, such as strong arming China into approving sanctions against the erstwhile Persians and Hilliary's recent trips to countries absent in the U.S. halo countries forming a ring around Iran, such as Azerbaijan, all spell a pretty interesting October surprise.

Add to the factors, that when we did this in the 70s, the issue was a pretense to raise oil prices.  Add the necessity of the Wall Street interests to reach barrel prices of $500-$1000/barrel in order to dump the quadrillions of dead paper they've netted, and it's an interesting proposition.

Hopefully, this plan gets rooted out as well as the PIIGS/Euro crash was.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 10:23 AM. |

Friday, July 23, 2010

Diocese Expresses Concern Over Jackson Labs

AveWatch is reporting that the Catholic Diocese of Venice, which covers Collier County and Ave Maria Town, is planning on issuing a statement in its parishes and diocesan newspaper, expressing concern about the Jackson Labs plan. [See update below]

Here is an excerpt from the statement:
Jackson Laboratory's purported association with and openness to human embryonic stem cell research causes the Diocese of Venice concern. Of particular note is a public statement made by the company that they are, "not willing to rule out doing human embryonic stem cell research" (Naples Daily News, April 10, 2010).
While encouraging and supporting biomedical research which respects innocent human life and advances the common good and in keeping fully with the Teachings of the Catholic Church, the Diocese of Venice has ethical and moral concerns as regards the potential activities at the proposed Jackson Laboratory facility. Economic growth and development are not the only components which impact the life of a community. An organization which truly respects the rights of all human beings could and should "rule out" human embryonic stem cell research. This is precisely because it involves the destruction of innocent human life and consequently, affects the community. Without such an understanding, the plan of Jackson Laboratory, as it has been reported, presents difficulty for the Diocese of Venice in Florida.
It's good to see the Diocese raising concerns.

UPDATE: The Ave Herald has clarified that the statement was published in the Naples News, not in the diocesan or parish papers.

Fumed by Thales at 7:47 AM. |

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Latin Tutorial

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 9:36 PM. |

JAX Does More Bad Stuff, and AMU Prez Looks at JAX Mice

AveWatch has the story of Jackson Labs's continuing research into the development of a male contraceptive. But AMSL Dean Milhizer tells us that Jackson Labs's research is "consistent with the Catholic Church's teaching on different life issues."

I also just came across this neat little article about how members of the International Stem Cell Initiative met at Jackson Labs in 2007 to compare notes on the merits of various human embryonic stem cell lines. But the NCBC tells us that there is no evil in the area of human embryonic stem cell research taking place at Jackson Labs.

I'm so confused!

In other news, AMU President Healy recently visited Jackson Labs and looked at some of their mouse models. I wonder if these were some of the mouse models marketed for human embryo stem cell engraftment.

Fumed by Thales at 7:31 AM. |

Sunday, July 18, 2010

CNN Money.com features our old friends.

Planned communities.

Hat tip: AveWatch.

Fumed by Petronius at 11:47 AM. |

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NY Times: The New Abortion Providers

A sad, heart-breaking, and sickening article about abortion providers over at the New York Times.

Fumed by Thales at 11:39 PM. |

Turnover at Ave Maria University Admissions Dept.

Naples News reports on the shake-up at the AMU's Admissions Department. Hattip: AveWatch

Fumed by Thales at 10:00 PM. |

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is it Passion or Lust?

Some years back, the BBC produced a series hosted by Simon Schama entitled "The Power of Art." One of the things that drew Mrs. Militaris and I to the program was Simon's professorial affectations. Indeed, proof positive that one can become a snooty professor by jerking one's head, speaking with an English accent and making Wildean comments, such as: "We like to think, don't we, that the genius is the hero--that the good guy wins. But this is Caravaggio, and the genius is the villain." Makes for a jolly fun evening. If you have not had the opportunity to sample the pleasure that is Schama check this link out for a taste.

An even better appreciation is here:

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 10:13 PM. |

Thursday, July 08, 2010

ATTENTION: Fat, Black, Lesbian, Homeless Women!

The banking industry, in conjunction with the federal government, wants you!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 3:17 PM. |

Cardinal Newman Society: Bad Notre Dame, Too Close To Embryonic Stem Cell Research, But Ave Maria......

I noticed over at the Cardinal Newman Society website that they're making a big deal about Notre Dame recently honoring the company General Electric, "despite the company’s involvement with embryonic stem cell research." Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly wrote a letter to Notre Dame President Fr. Jenkins, calling on Notre Dame to "publicly revoke the honor" because "it is contradictory and potentially scandalous for the University to honor a company which is in clear conflict with the teaching of the Catholic Church." The Cardinal Newman Society tells us that GE is in conflict with Catholic Church teaching because it is partnered with Geron, a company doing embryonic stem cell research, and because GE says it might pursue embryonic stem cell research itself.

Yes, you know where I'm going with this: I'm thinking of an organization that also partners with companies doing embryonic stem cell research and says it might pursue embryonic stem cell research itself. Need another hint? It starts with "J" and rhymes with "Paxson Labs."

So the Cardinal Newman Society feels the need to publicly chastise Notre Dame for their connection to GE. Is the Cardinal Newman Society going to say anything about Ave Maria's support and approval of a similar organization?

Fumed by Thales at 7:57 AM. |

Monday, July 05, 2010

Roman Catholic to the core

On the Church's Teaching on Human Dignity and the Sexual Act

“Pointing to the dramatic changes made within the Catholic Church by Vatican II, Quinn asserts that it is time for a new council, this one dedicated to looking at human sexuality and its intersection with religion,” said Inside East Sacramento. “The new council, he says, should involve the entire Catholic community as well as people of other faiths.”

“So many of the issues that Catholics deal with -- divorce, homosexuality, premarital sex -- center around sexuality and affect how they connect with the church,” Bishop Quinn told the publication. “We need to move beyond this circular logic and look at what is really happening in people’s lives.”

On Indians and Missionaries

The Yaquis, said Quinn, “are Roman Catholic to the core.” Their liturgies have been inculturated, including rope dancing at the offertory, he said, and “doing smoke blessings in the four directions instead of the penitential rite.”

“I felt I should express regret that the Miwok were treated unfairly in many ways, although the missionaries were well-intentioned but mistaken and doing only what they had been taught to do in bringing the faith to the Indians,” said Quinn. According to the Journal, Quinn said the missionaries “took the Indian out of the Indian” by destroying their traditional spiritual practices and “imposing a European Catholicism” on them – when the Indians had their own “civilization” that valued nature.

Relativism. Religious Syncretism. Self-loathing. Bishop Quinn is Roman Catholic to the core.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:33 PM. |

Friday, July 02, 2010

Judge Rules That AMU Is Successor To AMC

In the Ave Maria College whistleblower suit, the judge ruled that Ave Maria University is the successor to Ave Maria College and can be found liable if the plaintiff Kate Ernsting's case is ultimately successful. The judge's opinion is here. Seems like a pretty easy and obvious ruling to me.

AveWatch has the scoop and the analysis.

Fumed by Thales at 9:14 AM. |